Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ferris Bueller's Day Off in Boston

ferris-2

On the Friday night in June that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released in movie theaters, I was in the last few days of seventh grade. The last throes, if you will.

School was out for summer.

Summer Break Awaited. Lots of MTV, Cool Ranch Doritos, and endless replays of my well-worn VHS copies of Re-Animator, From Beyond and Commando with my boys. Then off to a left wing Jewish summer camp up in Vermont that held the last vestiges of 1960s good will. Then back to Brookline in late August. Then things would get serious.

In the fall of 1986: Eighth Grade. Ruling the roost of Junior High.

Then, a year after that: The Big Show.

The imposing edifices of the ginormously huge Brookline High School.

The buzz on Bueller had been building in the seventh grade hallways for weeks. One Hero to rule them all. John Hughes was already legend, and this was the big one. The full rebellion. The vision we had all been waiting for.

Anyone who was anyone would be there.

Bueller was the future.

Before Ferris came along, we had only our smuggled VHS tapes of Fast Times at Ridgemont to promise us of a teenage future of soft fuzzy sweaters too magical to touch.

After Bueller? It was a whole different ballgame. The course of the events of our young lives would not be determined by asshole authority and institutional imposition. Bueller led the way with vision and hope. But Cameron would speak to our hearts.

The 7:30 showing at the Cleveland Circle Cinemas was packed to the gills with crazed twelve and thirteen year olds. It had to have been 60% filled with my entire seventh grade class.

Before the movie began we ran up and down the aisles saying hi to each other. We were a class that now found itself together outside of school. A voluntary mission of enlightement. This wasn’t just a movie. This was an event. Bueller would mark not only the end of the school year but also the beginning of a conceptual awakening for each of us as we began to grow and expand beyond the narrow confines of suburban normativity.

Like Bueller, we would reject gym class and droning teachers and find art, poetry, parades, and pancreas on our own time, thank you very much.

The movie began. For every line Ferris spoke into the camera, we cheered. Cold clammy hands. A John Lennon reference. I knew immediately that shoving a lump of coal up Cameron’s ass was going into my eighth grade yearbook. If I could get “ass” by the censors.

Every time Rooney appeared, we booed and hissed. Here was a villain we understood. Here was every authority figure in suburbia trying to break us.

Wasn’t gonna happen.

Aristotelian teenage catharsis at 24 fps.

Afterwards we poured out into the dark Cleveland Circle streets elated and buzzing. I talked to girls I never had the guts to talk to before. Judy. Crystal. Talia. The game had changed. And we all knew it.

The next day, a Saturday, my best friend Jason called me up.

“Dude. What are you doing today?”

“Nothing.”

“Lets do it. Lets pull a Ferris.”

We decided to create our own Bueller adventure by running though everything great to do in Boston. When I told my mom my plan, she gave me five dollars. “Enjoy,” she said. It was awesome. Enough for a roundtrip on the T, pizza slices at Pizzaria Regina in Faneuil Hall, and at least two dollars left over for miscellaneous expenses.

Of course we didn’t have a Ferrari. Heck, we were three years away from even driving.

But, most importantly, we didn’t have Sloane Peterson.

I decided my seventh grade crush, Masha, a Russian exchange hottie, would be our Sloane Peterson. And that if we got into enough Bueller-like adventures throughout Boston, that eventually we would run into her. That’s the way logic worked back then. It would happen. You know. Because.

Jason and I met up in Coolidge Corner. We pooled our money. Over eleven dollars total. Totally enough to pull a real-life Ferris Adventure.

“Life moves pretty fast!” I shouted at Jason.

“If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, it’ll pass you by!” he responded.

“Wait,” I said. “Is the line, ‘it’ll pass you by’? Or ‘you could miss it’?”

Neither of us could remember. We’d only seen it once.

But the sky was crystal clear. The air was crisp. It was June in Boston.

So Jason and I hopped on the T. In-Bound. The world was eternal and fresh and new. Anything could happen.

We headed to Kenmore Square. Walked around Fenway. Then we traipsed down Newbury Street looking for trouble. We poured over the latest Green Arrows at Newbury Comics. Then a long walk to Downtown Crossing. Then over to Faneuil Hall for lunch. Then the Red Line to Cambridge.

We putzed around Harvard Square.

Nothing much happened.

No Ed Rooney. No parade. No dramatic epiphanies. No Sloane. No Masha.

Late afternoon turned into evening. We were almost out of money. Even the 50% off coupon at Bartley’s Burgers had only gotten us one burger to split for dinner. So we wandered around Harvard’s campus hoping we wouldn’t get thrown out.

“What should we do now?”

“I gotta get home, dude.”

“Okay. Lets go.”

It was a good day. But it was no Bueller day.

Jason and I T’d it back to Brookline. Said goodbye. We’d see each other in class on Monday. There was still a week or so of school to get through. I walked home. Someday, I thought to myself. Someday, when I get older, I’ll have adventures like Ferris did.

Then High School came. Then High School ended. Then I moved to New York for college, where many complex, exciting, and dangerous adventures did indeed happen to your humble narrator.

But that spring/summer day in Boston in 1986 also happened. I look back now, and it was as exciting a day as anything in the life of Bueller. For it held promise. Endless promise. And the sky was very, very blue.

# posted by douchebag1
11:47 am April, 17 Douchble Helix said...

Danke’ Schoen, DB1.

11:57 am April, 17 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

I watched Bueller on a date in university with a crazy blonde I was almost done with. Me likeyed Mia Sara. Where does she be? I’m a little stoned cause I am working from home today on account of my old dog is ill with the shits, never feed an old Golden an entire salmon skin, and I’m thinking …fuck I forgot. Oh yeah it my Dad’s (respect ) 70th birthday party here today.

So I’s cooking him a T-Bone with fixings and old0-school Monte Carlo potatoes and giving him a bottle of old whiskey and a case of Depends.

.

The third memory I have about Boston was the cab ride back to Logan. We toured by the old Gardens, and that Cheers thing and shit with a nice shanty Irish cabby. Fare to return to Logan was $12 USD. Son.

.

.

.

.

And shit.

12:00 pm April, 17 The Dude said...

Good fuckn god am I really that much older than you? Does DB1 stand for HaHaIAmSoMuchYoungerThan You? LOL

.

Bueller?

12:10 pm April, 17 Capt Canuck said...

Great stuff, boss. I gotta sit down and watch that film again soon. And Mia Sara has aged well (http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/mia-sara-31st-saturn-awards-Plajnq.jpg) and now looks just like a woman I know well.

12:35 pm April, 17 Vin Douchal said...

Ferris Bueller, like The Princess Bride, is one of those movies that if you’re flipping through the TV channels and find it, you can watch it from any scene in the movie. Uncle Buck, too

1:08 pm April, 17 Vin Douchal said...

Steven Colbert sums it all up HERE</a.

1:08 pm April, 17 Wheezer said...

Boss, when you and your friend Jason passed Fenway, which one of you named yourself “Abe Froman”?

5:02 pm April, 17 hermit said...

My aunt Norma was an Eastern European cootch dancer who lived in Boston. She had irritable bowels, a lazy eye and never took a day off in her life.

5:10 pm April, 17 Steve said...

I HIGHLY suggest listening to this while reading this post. It definitely fits the mood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo4C9KpyCCo

6:38 pm April, 17 Ferris said...

I approve. Well done.

7:17 pm April, 17 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

I don’t know what Steve meant with that song but he’s blowing my mind. But there were at least three Scientologist homos in that clip. And even when I’m really feeling sexy wild like around hooker time I don’t do dudes…and shit.

7:53 pm April, 17 DoucheyWallnuts said...

Sly Stallone’s Cobra is one of the great, underrated retard action hero characters in the post-Kurosowa era. The slurred speech, the droopy face, the hair mousse and Brigitte Neilson’s twat all make Cobra a must watch.

.

We should have a, “Watch Cobra with Rev Chad,” contest in which the movie is watched whilst partaking in copious amounts of doobage. Partaking in copious amounts of doobage, I says.

10:58 pm April, 17 The Dude (remote loc) said...

Doobage. With Rev Chad. Son.

5:36 am April, 18 Charles Douchewin said...

Heartfelt post, DB1.

.

After spending 6+ years of my life in Western Mass, I have fond memories of Fenway in summer, and the ebb and flow of life along Mass ave.

.

I’m looking forward hearing how the Dropkick Murphys could express the events, and feelings – in song.

6:54 am April, 18 Douche Wayne said...

Thanks for that Bossman.

In middle school, the world was your oyster and you could do anything, so long as you could get their on your bike and be home by the time the streetlights came on.

12:25 pm April, 18 Chris in 'Baghdad said...

Heartfelt…and I like that. The last six years in Iraq and Afghanistan make miss the ole homeland…even with the weird politics, Obamaforever-recession and all. I miss it. Never spent much time in Beantown but my summer semester at Harvard Law School in 1992 felt like it.

Good on ya DB1

8:01 pm April, 18 Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabbadouche said...

No joke, DB1, this is my favorite post you’ve ever written for the site. Maybe it’s nostalgia talking, since I briefly lived in Brookline, saw movies at Cleveland Circle, and hit many of the places you mention here. Doesn’t matter – I’m feeling warm fuzzies right now, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Well, unless the warm fuzzes are in your pubes. That would be a bad thing.

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